Nate Berkus

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Nate Berkus
Nate Berkus in CES 2014 Press Conference.jpg
Berkus in CES 2014
Born Nathan Jay Berkus
(1971-09-17) September 17, 1971 (age 42)
Orange County, California
Residence Manhattan, New York City
Alma mater Lake Forest College, (B.A., French and Sociology, 1994)
Occupation Interior decorator, television host
Years active 2004–present

Fernando Bengoechea (died 2004) [1]

Jeremiah Brent, (2012-present)

Nathan Jay "Nate" Berkus (born September 17, 1971) is an American interior designer, author, TV host and television personality. He runs the Chicago interior design firm Nate Berkus Associates and has been a regularly featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, offering design advice to viewers, as well as coordinating surprise make-overs for people's homes. He has released numerous lines of products, and authored several books.

His own show, The Nate Berkus Show, debuted in broadcast syndication September 13, 2010, featuring make-overs, culture, design, and personal advice. It was co-produced by Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures Television, and was cancelled after its second season ended on May 24, 2012.[2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Berkus was born in Orange County, California, and grew up mainly in suburban Minneapolis. He is Jewish, and openly gay.[4][5] He attended Cushing Academy, a boarding school in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. He started working in design immediately after leaving high school and interned at Dominique Aurientis in Paris and Sotheby's in Chicago. Berkus graduated from Lake Forest College near Chicago in 1994 with degrees in French and Sociology. Berkus founded the company, Nate Berkus Associates, in Chicago in 1995.[citation needed]

Berkus is related to the venture capitalist David Berkus, architect Barry Berkus, musician/artist Gunther Berkus, Josh Berkus of Software in the Public Interest, casino manager /author Eric David Berkus, and western states lawyer Matt Berkus. Designer Nancy Golden from HGTV and DIY networks is his mother.[citation needed]

In December 2004 Berkus and his partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, were vacationing at a beach resort in Sri Lanka when the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami hit. While Berkus survived, Bengoechea is missing and presumed dead.[6] Berkus appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on January 17, 2005, to talk about his ordeal and the loss of his love.

Berkus became engaged on Monday, April 8, 2013, to Jeremiah Brent.[7] In early 2014, the couple was featured in clothier Banana Republic's "True Outfitters" ads in InStyle, and Rolling Stone, among other magazines.[8] The New York Times noted they were the first, and only same-sex couple to be featured in ads for the magazines.[9]


In November 2005 Hyperion Books published Berkus's book Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live into a Place You'll Love (ISBN 1-4013-0137-1), a step-by-step guide to home design and decoration.

In 2005 Berkus began selling his merchandise at Linens 'n Things stores throughout North America.

Berkus was the host of the short-lived reality show Oprah's Big Give, which premiered March 2, 2008, but the series ended on April 20 that same year. On May 13, 2008, it was announced by ABC that it would not be renewed for a second season.[10]

On September 13, 2010, he debuted as the host of his own syndicated daily show, The Nate Berkus Show, which was co-produced by Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures Television. It was recorded at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York, but aired in the nation's largest markets on the ten NBC-owned-and-operated stations.[2] In December 2011, Sony Pictures decided not to renew The Nate Berkus Show for a third season.

Nate Berkus is also an executive producer of the 2011 film The Help.

He appeared as himself on the October 12, 2011 and October 13, 2011 episodes of Days of Our Lives, a United States daytime television soap opera, designing the offices of MadWorld Cosmetics for Madison James.

Berkus authored a book called The Things That Matter, and on October 16, 2012 it was released by publishers Spiegel & Grau.[11] In The Things That Matter, Nate Berkus shares intimate stories from his life, introduces us to people who influenced him and helped him forge his sense of style, and opens up about the remarkable experiences that have left him forever changed, all of which find expression in how he lives today. Berkus invites readers into his own home as well as into twelve others, including a Chicago sleek steel high-rise, a Hudson Valley rustic cottage, a Greenwich Village townhouse, a Marfa, Texas, minimalist home, and more. All of Berkus' and other owner's choices exemplify his philosophy that the best-designed homes symbolize the memories and life experiences which have made them who they are today, i.e., "The Things That Matter". Per Nate, "Our homes tell our stories, they reflect the places we’ve been and the people we’ve loved along the way—and there can be no more beautiful design for living than that." It is a New York Times Best Seller[12] and also named "One of the Best Books of the Year" by Seattle Times.[citation needed]

Also in October 2012, Berkus brought his signature style to Target stores, with the launch of his new Target Home collection. The 150-piece line includes bedding, bath, accessories, lighting, rugs, window treatments and more.[13] "Our houses represent who we are, who we’ve loved, how we’ve spent our afternoons, and who we’ve spent them with", Berkus says. Berkus blended this philosophy into his new inexpensive collection at Target. One element that stands out is the lack of a trendy color story. He stresses, "I like people to choose and connect to a palette that works for them. This collection allows them to select the pieces that work best for their home.” His line features an assortment of materials including wood and lacquer, brass and jute.[14]

In January 2013, Nate Berkus introduced his own fabric collection at Calico Corners.[15] Influenced by his own worldly travels and experiences, the Nate Berkus Fabric Collection reflects those inspirations. From the pattern names, to the colors available, that global influence is apparent and allows you the opportunity to create an inspiring space your own home. Nate hopes his fabric designs will inspire others to express and enrich their home's memories, loves, and life stories.

In March 2013, television journalists noted that Berkus began working on a primetime series with NBC, initially titled Renovation Nation.[16] In May 2013 it was reported that the title was changed to American Dream Builders, and implied the change had something to do with the fact that Planet Green had previously aired a show under the Renovation Nation name between 2008 and 2010.[17] Berkus is the host and one of the producers of the show in which, according to NBC, "American top designers, builders, architects and landscapers go head-to-head each week, putting their talents to the test on extreme home renovations. They'll tackle spaces that are architecturally diverse, resulting in epic transformations with impeccable design."[18] Early descriptions report that the cross-country competitions will be judged both by design experts and also by viewers, as the live finale includes audience evaluation to determine the winner.[16] NBC has initially ordered 10 episodes which will reportedly premiere mid-season 2013–14 on Sunday evenings.[19]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "In Memoriam - Fernando Bengoechea". 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  2. ^ a b Carter, Bill (January 30, 2010). "NBC Universal and Sony Television Reach Deal for ‘Nate Berkus Show’". Media Decoder. The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ Gorman, Bill (December 9, 2011). "‘The Nate Berkus Show’ Canceled, Will Finish Second And Final Season In May, 2012". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ Forman, Ross (2008-10-08). "Nate Berkus talks life and love". Windy City Times. 
  5. ^ Breen, Matthew (September 2010). "Intelligent Design". The Advocate. 
  6. ^ Ayers, Dennis (March 11, 2008). "Interview With Nate Berkus of "Oprah's Big Give"". After Elton. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ Triggs, Charlotte (April 10, 2013). "Nate Berkus Is Engaged to Jeremiah Brent". People. 
  8. ^ Nate Berkus And Jeremiah Brent Star In Banana Republic Campaign
  9. ^ Republic Ads With Real-Life Unions Include a Gay Couple
  10. ^ "ABC Announces Their 2008-09 Schedule. Who's Been Cancelled?". TV Series Finale. May 13, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ "advertisement "The Things That Matter"". Amazon. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Hardcover NonFiction Best Sellers". NY Times. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "A Sneak Peek at the Upcoming Nate Berkus for Target Collection". So Haute Style. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Nate Berkus talks to AD about his stylish new home Target collection, born from a passion for natural materials and his signature easy sophistication.". Architetctural Digest. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Nate Berkus Fabric Collection". Calico Corners. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "NBC and Nate Berkus Team for ‘Renovation Nation’". Variety. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Renovation Nation Becomes American Dream Builders". Internet Movie DataBase (IMDB). Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "NBC New 2013-14 Shows: "American Dream Builders" The Most Exciting Home Challenge in America". NBC. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "NBC's 2013-14 TV Schedule". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 

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